I just realized about how I feel every time I fly above the ground, on duties. The thing I used to take for granted. The thing that now makes me feel so proud of my own country, Indonesia:
Indonesia is a huge archipelagic country extending 5,120 kilometers from east to west and 1,760 kilometers from north to south. It encompasses 13,667 islands (some sources say as many as 18,000), only 6,000 of which are inhabited. There are five main islands (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya/Papua), two major archipelagos (Nusa Tenggara and the Maluku Islands), and sixty smaller archipelagos. Two of the islands are shared with other nations; Kalimantan (known in the colonial period as Borneo, the world’s third largest island) is shared with Malaysia and Brunei, and Irian Jaya shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea. Indonesia’s total land area is 1,919,317 square kilometers. Included in Indonesia’s total territory is another 93,000 square kilometers of inlands seas (straits, bays, and other bodies of water). The additional surrounding sea areas bring Indonesia’s generally recognized territory (land and sea) to about 5 million square kilometers. The government, however, also claims an exclusive economic zone, which brings the total to about 7.9 million square kilometers (http://countrystudies.us/indonesia/).
One more thing, again and again, something that we, Indonesians, are taking it for granted: unity in diversity. Every time I’m thinking of it. It’s just so amazing being in a country that can go side by side in harmony despite the diversity of religion, language, customs and tradition, and also culture. Thousands of islands, thousands of regional languages, millions of people with different religion, customs, tradition, and culture. If it wasn’t because of our strongest nationality nurtured for so long, we would never be able to still standing as a country now.
Again, I am proud to be an Indonesian. I am proud to be born and raised as an Indonesian. I am honored to have the legacy for being an Indonesian.
Wini, July, 2010
Jayapura – Papua